Many wonder about the process of recovering from the betrayal of infidelity. Once a spouse or partner discovers that his/her partner has been unfaithful, what happens next? Often the initial shock of discovering an affair leaves the betrayed partner unable to process or think. It can take a bit of time for the situation to be unraveled before the individual or couple begins the process of searching for help.
If it is a one-off affair, something like an unattached one night stand, or a single affair partner, the information gathering process can be faster. If the information gathering process moves along quickly, then the couple may initiate the search or help in a short period of time after the affair has been uncovered or disclosed. If the affair was a single affair but has been on-going for a number or months or years, this again can delay the process of enlisting professional help. Similar, if there’s sexual addiction, it takes more time and mental energy to process and come out of the shock state and take action.
So the question of “how do I get over my partner cheating on me” is complex, as there are many variables when it comes to infidelity and/or sex addiction. The human mind, when traumatized, becomes dysregulated, so the key is to look for professional help as soon as possible. Early intervention is important as an attempt to minimize collateral damage and adding addition trauma on top of trauma. Isolation is the antithesis of getting over sexual betrayal, finding support in safe environments will aid in the recovery process and make it more likely that true healing occurs.
When considering how to get over your spouse’s affair, the issue of time can be, disheartening. The grief process can’t really be shortened without long term negative consequences. So, when a betrayed wife or betrayed husband is in the first stages (0-3 months), he/she may be taking all the right steps to get over the betrayal, but this does not equal feeling better. Month 1-6 are horrific, even with the best affair recovery support or sexual addiction professionals at your side. Loss and grief, they take time to process out and heal.
Month 6-12 can come with some relief, for some betrayed partners. Again, this can vary depending on many variables. How hard is the unfaithful or sexually addicted spouse working his/her end of recovery? How engaged and attuned is he/she to the pain and struggles of the betrayed spouse? Is there and if yes, how severe is the ambivalence of the unfaithful or sex addiction? Does the unfaithful spouse or sexually addiction spouse have high or low internal motivation.
The multi-dimensionality of infidelity and/or sexual addiction is vast. Working with professionals who understand affair recovery and sex addiction will provide the structure and support needed to heal after an affair or discovery of serial infidelity / sexual addiction. Counselors, coaches and other professionals who specialize in sexual addiction, chronic infidelity and/or infidelity recovery offer empathy, guidance and a holistic mental health perspective that hold your overall healing in mind.